Hodges' comments came amid media reports that the USA plans to test two missile systems banned under the INF Treaty, and that a new cruise missile is scheduled to be tested in August, while a longer-range ballistic missile will be test-launched in November.
The remarks come after the Hill reported on Wednesday that the USA plans to test two missile systems banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which the United States announced its decision to withdraw from later this year.
Russian Federation has repeatedly denied the allegations that the missile violates the treaty, pointing out that American missile defence systems deployed in Europe can be re-purposed for offensive use and therefore are themselves violating the accord. Neither would be nuclear armed, the officials said.
If the test proves successful, the missile could be deployed in about 18 months, the official said.
The same official said the Pentagon was also tentatively planning in November to test an intermediate-range ballistic missile. With the signing of the INF treaty, those missiles were withdrawn and destroyed.
The defense officials told reporters that allies in Europe and Asia had not yet been consulted about the planned missile tests or if they would be deployed on their territory.
Russia, which denies the accusation, said it was also withdrawing from the INF Treaty, which banned both countries from developing, producing, and deploying ground-launched cruise or ballistic missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.
Arms control advocates and Democrats in Congress have questioned the wisdom of leaving the INF treaty, while accepting US allegations that Russian Federation is violating it by deploying a cruise missile that can target American allies in Europe.
"The Russians have been violating the INF treaty for years but, instead of focusing world opinion against the Russians, the Trump administration made a decision to withdraw from the treaty", Rep. Adam Smith, the Democratic chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said recently.
Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said Wednesday the Pentagon has not yet established a military requirement for a ground-launched cruise or ballistic missile of intermediate range.
"It is unwise for the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to match an unhelpful action by Russian Federation with another unhelpful action", Kimball said.